It’s a thrill to welcome Vicki Mothes to MDK. One of the pioneering knitbloggers (class of 2004), Vicki’s blog Knitorious continues to this day as a vibrant chronicle of a full and joyful artistic life. Her most recent art project, now in its tenth year: grandmothering!
—Ann & Kay
Seeing how one of my handknits gets passed down from one grandchild to another is one of my favorite things about knitting. I have four grandchildren who are siblings, so when I decided to make a new sweater for them, I knew a couple things right off the bat: it would be a good hand-me-down in at least two colors—probably more.
I also wanted the kids to have some input, so I asked the three eldest about their favorite colors. Junah, who is 9, loved orange. Ginny, 6, really likes pink … or blue … or purple! And Malina, 4, likes red. (Davy’s only 2.5 and currently has no discernible opinion.)
The pattern I chose was Holli Yeoh’s 5 Point Bomber by Holli Yeoh because it’s bold, it has pockets, and because other makers had a lot of good things to say about it here, here, here, here, here, and here. (Click over to these inspirational FOs to see how versatile this pattern is!)
I was inspired by all the Atlas colors! I knew for sure that the two main colors would be Navy Blue and Clementine, but I saw the design as a canvas for (more!) stripes or graphics, so I ordered up a “crayon box” of extra hues to play with! In addition to the main colors, I used Barn Red, Lapis, Citron, Mallard, Seaglass, Tutu, and Pear.
I contacted Holli and told her of my idea, and asked if she would share a working sketch that might help me visualize. She not only shared her sketches, she also had the brilliant suggestion that they be used as a coloring book. She said, “You could even get your grandkids to color them as a fun exercise.” Inspiration, indeed!
I made copies and pulled colored pencils that most closely matched the colors of Atlas that I’d chosen, and let the kids have at it! Though blue took a back seat in their interpretations, their creations were phenomenal, and I incorporated at least one element from each of their drawings into my working design.
Malina colored the cuff of one sleeve bright blue on the front and pink on the back. That bright blue cuff just had to be incorporated!
The idea of the front and back being a different color was consistent in all their designs. Junah even imagined that I’d knit intarsia, with the left and right sides of the front/back in different colors. I used that idea for the ribbing at the bottom of the sweater, using Barn Red on the front and Pear on the back with a stripe of Navy Blue in the middle, reminiscent of a high school letter jacket, and to tie the pieces together.
Holli’s original design had narrow stripes on the lower left sleeve, and Ginny duplicated the stripes on the right sleeve in her design—she was the only one to add a totally new element! I always intended for the stripes to be more colorful than the original and used Ginny’s idea to add some, but I moved them to the upper right arm and changed the number and width of them ever so slightly compared to those on the left.
I enjoyed coming up with the stripe sequences and added a little whimsy to the insides of the pockets, too. The pocket and collar details were well written and fun to knit!
Atlas knit like a dream and blocked even dreamier! I’m looking forward to knitting up some hats and mittens with the leftovers!
Make it with Atlas
- 5 Point Bomber by Holli Yeoh
- Atlas in the shades of your choice—for my size S, I used 6 Navy Blue, 2 Clementine, and partial skeins of Barn Red, Lapis, Citron, Mallard, Seaglass, Tutu, and Pear
- Size US 3 and 5 (3.25 and 3.75mm) needles, swatch to get gauge
- Tapestry needle
- 8 buttons
- Optional: Removable stitch markers for counting your rows.